By Will Martin
Yes, Bob Costas had his halftime shpiel about the offensiveness of the moniker, and Twitter blew up.
One week after the fourth highest scoring game in history, second highest after the merger 1970 you knew there was no way one of the greatest rivalries in the NFL was going to live up to what was the epic Manning-Romo battle.
There was however the issue of how RG3 would prevail in his old home on the night of Jerry Jones’ 71st birthday.
Simply put the Cowboys defense did just enough to throw Washington off their game plan and be victorious 31-16.
Pardon me if I gloat for a moment. If you saw the pregame prediction piece I did with Miss Tammy and the Blitz Weekly beat writers I told you that ‘Special Teams would be the difference in this game and to keep an eye on Dwayne Harris to be a disruptive force!’
BOO YA! Thank Me, you’re welcome! (Smile).
Ironically it was one year ago when Mr. Harris went ballistic with the ball in Philadelphia with some nice returns for scores. While that won’t happen this weekend with the Eagles it was nice to see Dwayne Harris explode for 222 return yards-86 by punt return for a score and another 90 by kickoff-in allowing for two scores that was essentially the difference in Sunday night’s game for the Cowboys (3-3).
Coming off a bye the Redskins (1-4) would be guilty of two fourth quarter turnovers in a game where Mike Shanahan’s troops amassed 413 total yards to only 213 for Dallas. Robert Griffin III was 19 of 39 passes for along with 7 yards rushing. RG3 had rushed for only 72 yards his first five games.
Griffin happy to accept full responsibility.
“There’s no excuses. You aren’t going to get any excuses from this guy,” Griffin said. “We didn’t play well enough to win in all three phases of the game. We have to go out and win as a team, and as an offense we take that on our shoulders. We didn’t score enough points.”
An Alfred Morris 45-yard scramble for a TD after a penalty was assessed to Barry Church for a late hit on Robert Griffin III to make the score 21-16 in the third quarter. Washington had been held to two Kyle Forbath field goals in the first half while Dallas got on the board on said punt return by Dwayne Harris.
Tony Romo a mere mortal completing 18 of 30 passes for 170 yards. Terrence Williams made an outstanding end zone catch after Romo broke out of a mad scramble rush for a TD late in the second half. Defensively the Cowboys were able to sack RG3 three times as well as get a key interception by Orlando Scandrick in the end zone when a 26-yard TD pass to Santana Moss failed when Moss fell to the ground.
Statistically Dallas won this game on the strength of their special teams play. While both qbs threw a pick, it was the decimated defense of the Silver and Blue that created a score for Joseph Randle late in the fourth after a Kyle Wilber sack of RG3 and a subsequent fumble.
The Cowboys now have a battle of first place on the line in Philly this Sunday-if you want to call a 3-3 record first place worthy. With added injuries to DeMarcus Ware (Quadricep) and DeMarco Murray (knee sprain) it could be a long day for the Silver and Blue.
As Rod Marinelli’s defense has shown, it may bend but it will not break.
Happy 71st birthday to Jerry Jones last Sunday. A 31-16 Cowboys victory. The numbers favored the Redskins. The special teams were what gave Dallas the W. A win like this is truly a specialty.